As Europe sets its sights on a gigabit future, the optical networking ecosystem is under increasing pressure to deliver greater capacity at lower costs, in the technology's vital role as the backbone of connectivity for long haul and metro networks.
In response, optical networks and the European optical networking community see simplified networks as a way to meet these sophisticated needs while simultaneously reducing costs. To achieve this, operators must overhaul legacy networks and deploy standardized, disaggregated multi-vendor networks.
Growing beyond gigabits. Join us for NGON & DCI World in Nice on May 21-23 to network, soak up knowledge and enjoy the region through an optical-tech lens.
One example is Shaw Communication's network in Canada, where partner Fujitsu deployed its 1Finity T310 Transport and 1Finity L100 Lambda series blades, combined with its Virtuora optical networking technology, which offers software-defined networking control. Using SDN is something more operators are doing, Jimmy Yu, vice president at Dell'Oro Group and NGON & DCI World Optical Champion, told SDxCentral.
"Disaggregated products... are growing into cable companies and telcos," he said. "The advantage [of disaggregation] is that the parts come in a small form factor and have versatility and open interfaces."
Within the data center, vendors including C Spire, Nokia and EXFO used fiber optic connections, specialty equipment, plus test measuring solutions for a trial at Mississippi State University that successfully downloaded data 1,000 times faster than current 1 Gbit/s services on the market today, said Sam Bucci, head of Nokia's Optical business.
"We work with partners like C Spire to design optical networks to meet future demands," said he said. "MissiON and other higher education research networks must continue to push the limits of communications to adapt to changing conditions and future unforeseen applications."
Being flexible and supportive of operators' roadmaps, especially in the roll-out of 5G, is critical to vendors. It's also important to empower service providers to leverage prior investments and existing fixed-access and mobile infrastructure to curtail costs and time-to-market. To meet those demands, Fujitu for one, recently launched Smart xHaul, a plug-in transponder card that lets service providers build off their existing 4G networks to quickly and efficiently support 5G services, the vendor said. Other vendors are doing the same, recognizing the need to collaborate with operators and other vendors to deliver the networks of the future.
"As the race to 5G intensifies, communications service providers need every advantage they can find to reduce time to market and keep capital expenditures in check while they deploy 5G architectures," said Sterling Perrin, principal analyst, optical networking and transport at Heavy Reading. "Simple transport upgrade options... allow service providers to deliver new 5G service."
This year's NGON & DCI World explores a range of topics, including:
- How to develop interoperability in open, agile, next-generation optical networks.
- Understanding the carrier roadmap toward 5G and beyond
- Adaptive network strategies
- The journey to 1TB and beyond
- The Shannon Limit principal and potential options to solve the challenges it presents
Over the coming week's Broadband World News will bring you interviews from NGON & DCI World speakers and thought leadership on the future of optical networks from market experts.
NGON & DCI World takes place 21-23 May at the Acropolis in Nice. Discover more out more about the event here.
— Niall Hunt, Digital Lead, Content & Communities, KNect365. Follow him on Twitter @Niall_Hunt and learn more about Broadband World Forum here.